Sustained exercise hyperemia during prolonged adenosine infusion in humans

Sushant M. Ranadive, John R.A. Shepherd, Timothy B. Curry, Frank A. Dinenno, Michael J. Joyner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The contribution of Adenosine (ADO) to exercise hyperemia remains controversial and it is unknown whether ADO can evoke the prolonged vasodilation seen during exercise bouts. Therefore, we tested hypotheses in the human forearm during 3 h of intra-arterial high dose ADO infusion: (1) skeletal muscle blood flow would wane over time; (2) exercise hyperemic responses during ADO administration would be unaffected compared to baseline. Using sodium nitroprusside (SNP), we tested parallel hypotheses regarding nitric oxide (NO) in a separate group of participants. Seventeen young healthy participants (ADO: n = 9; SNP: n = 8) performed multiple rhythmic handgrip exercise bouts (20% of maximum), two during saline and five during 3 h of continuous drug infusion. Five minutes of ADO infusion resulted in a ~5-fold increase in forearm vascular conductance (FVC; 4.8 ± 0.6 vs. 24.2 ± 3.2 mL/min/100 mmHg, P < 0.05). SNP caused a ~4-fold increase (4.4 ± 0.6 vs. 16.6 ± 2 mL/min/100 mmHg, P < 0.05). FVC did not wane over time with ADO (24.2 ± 3.2 and 22 ± 1.2 mL/min/100 mmHg [P > 0.05]) or SNP (16.6 ± 2 and 14.1 ± 2.4 mL/min/100 mmHg [P > 0.05]) at 5 versus 150 min. Superimposed exercise during ADO or SNP infusions evoked marked and consistent additional dilation over the course of the infusions. Our findings demonstrate that in humans there is no reduction in endothelial or vascular smooth muscle responsiveness to the exogenous vasodilatory metabolites ADO and NO. Additionally, even in the presence of an exogenous vasodilator, superimposed exercise can cause significant hyperemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14009
JournalPhysiological reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Adenosine
  • blood flow
  • exercise
  • exercise hyperemia
  • vasodilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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